Just two weeks later, the Ingram and O’Neil Handbell Choirs were on their way to Hamilton for the Ontario Guild Festival held at McMaster University. I will let them tell you about it in their own words:
The Handbell festival was awesome! I had a great time at the workshops, and I loved the food. It was really cool being at a university, and listening to all the handbells ringing at once was amazing. Good Vibrations are still ringing in my ears.
Laurenne, O’Neil choir
For me, I learned things I had wanted to, in the workshops. This was key for me. I discovered I felt quite motivated, not just about bells when I came home, maybe because it was a break from everything else in my life.
Stephanie, Ingram Choir
I loved the opportunity to ring with different people, bring different music to life and to stretch my handbell skills.
Val, Ingram Choir
The festival was a great experience. I enjoyed the workshops because they were interactive and fun.
Sibahle, O’Neil Choir
I really liked playing in the Massed choir. The practices we had as a group for Tin and Massed I found really helpful and at the time of the concert I was more confident. Gabbi enjoyed both youth workshops that she did. She also liked the humour of the massed choir conductor. She made the rehearsals fun.
Gillian & Gabbi, O’Neil Choir
Going to the Ontario Guild English Handbell Ringers festival was a remarkable experience. Being new to bells, I was unsure of what to expect and was afraid that I would spend the weekend feeling like I was in WAY over my head. From the first massed rehearsal, I knew I was in for the experience of a lifetime. The conductors were of the highest caliber, the workshops were informative and well planned and the performances by other bell choirs inspirational. I am eager to put what I have learned into practice so that St. John’s bell music ministry is even more polished. Special thank you to Carolyn—our fearless leader and constant encourager, along with Tracy—her enthusiastic and extremely organized assistant director for making it possible for us to be a part of festival 2011. To ring such beautiful music along with 400 others is something I will carry with me for a lifetime and hope that I can do it again in 2013!
Wanda, O’Neil Choir
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